AFA NEWSROOM V10 NO. 11, JUNE 1, 2015
LEGISLATURE DOWN TO FINAL 4 DAYS
The 2015 Regular Session of the Alabama Legislature has whittled itself down to four work days before lawmakers leave for a break and are likely called back into a special session to deal with a General Fund shortfall.
Last week lawmakers sent the $5.9 billion education budget to the Governor. The bare bones $1.64 billion General Fund budget approved by the House is also ready for action by the Senate this week. Lawmakers will spend three work days this week tying up loose ends, take off a week and return for the final day of the session on Monday, June 15.
Because there are over $200 million in cuts to General Fund agencies and no new revenues, Gov. Robert Bentley has vowed to call lawmakers back into a special session to address funding issues later this year. Last week House Speaker Mike Hubbard, R-Auburn was talking about mid-August as a target date.
Keep up with the latest by reading Tom's From the Weeds blog.
NEW HOME SALES UP IN APRIL
U.S. sales of new, single-family homes were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 517,000 units in April, 6.8% above the revised March rate and 26.1% above the May 2014 estimate, according to the Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The median sales price of new houses sold in April was $297,300. An estimated 205,000 new homes were for sale at the end of April, representing a 4.8-month supply at the current sales rate.
For more, click here...
WILD TURKEY SURVEY RESULTS
Recently the Wildlife Section of the Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries emailed hunters to gather information about your turkey hunting experiences in Alabama. More than 1,500 of you responded and we
want to share the results.
Responses were received from all 67 counties and more than half of you thought the 2015 season was worse than the 2014 season. In fact, more than half said the 2015 spring turkey season was worse than the average for both the past 5- and 10-year periods. However, more than 60 percent said they like the season starting and ending dates as they are.
DATE SET FOR AFA SHOALS REGIONAL RECEPTION
The location, date and time have been confirmed for the AFA Regional Reception in the Shoals area of Alabama. The date is Monday, June 22nd at the River Bottom Grille, 1050 Clayborn Lilies Drive, Florence, AL 35630. The AFA Regional Meeting will begin at 5 pm and the Reception follows at 6 pm.
Counties involved this event include: Lauderdale, Colbert, Franklin, Marion, Lawrence, Limestone and Morgan. If you live in this area please mark your calendar and plan to attend.
For official invite, click here.
SELMA PELLET MILL UP AND RUNNING
After a few years of planning, developing and building, Zilkha Biomass Energy’s Selma plant is ready for business. The Selma and Dallas CountyEconomic Development Authority hosted a ribbon cutting at the plant recently to celebrate its grand opening.
"This is really exciting because this is a 10-year dream that has become areality,” said Michael Zilkha, co-founder and owner of Zilkha Biomass Energy. "It is very, very exciting because my father and I have been at this for 10 years. It has been a tough 10 years. It has been very, very hard.”
COALITION ANNOUNCES BIOMASS 101 CAMPAIGN
A leading coalition of forest owners, wood suppliers and manufacturers of pulp and paper goods announced on May 27 the creation of Biomass101.org, a clearinghouse for scientifically sound information on carbon-neutral biomass. Biomass101 is an effort jointly produced by the American Forest & Paper Association, American Wood Council, Forest Resources Association, and National Alliance of Forest Owners.
INITIAL PLM TRAINING OFFERED THIS SUMMER
Need Initial PLM Training to get a PLM number?
Two separate courses are being offered this summer: training on June 11 and June 18 in Jackson; training on July 30 and Aug. 6 in Crossville. For information or to register, check the online calendar at www.alaforestry.org.
HOUSE VOTES TO BLOCK EPA WATER RULES
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Federal water regulators seeking to greatly expand their reach into small ponds, puddles and ditches on private lands would be forced to abandon their scheme under a bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives recently.
U.S. Representative Martha Roby (R-AL), a fierce critic of the EPA’s & Corps’ proposed rule and a co-sponsor of H.R. 1732, said the bill’s passage is a major step in the right direction.
2015 SOUTHERN PINE BEETLE (SPB) PREVENTION COST-SHARE PROGRAM
For a limited time, help is being offered to fight against the number one killer of pine trees in Alabama. Now through the end of June, technical assistance and financial incentives are available to help forest landowners across the state apply prevention practices to reduce the susceptibility of their pine stands to attack by southern pine beetle (SPB).
ALC STILL LOOKING FOR A FEW GOOD LOGGERS!!!
Okay, we are STILL looking for loggers to be nominated for the 2015 Logger of the Year Award. We know that there are lots of outstanding loggers out there who are worthy of recognition, so don't be shy! Send us your nominations ASAP. The deadline has been extended for nominees until July 1, 2015. What are you waiting for?
Send nominations to:
Alabama Loggers Council
Attn: Alabama Logger of the Year
555 Alabama Street
Montgomery, AL 36104
Include contact information so we can get back in touch with you. Contact: ALC Director Bill Harris, 334-481-2130 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
ALABAMA CONGRESSMEN & WOMEN JOIN MISSISSIPPI TO OPPOSE PINESNAKE LISTING
All seven Alabama Congressmen and women joined with Congressmen from Mississippi to ask the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to reconsider the recent listing of the Black Pinesnake as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).
SFI LEADS TREE PLANTING EFFORT
Truckee, Calif. (May 22, 2015) – Headed by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative Inc. (SFI), approximately 40 organizations across the United States and Canada came together on May 20 with a goal to plant over 200,000 trees simultaneously in one hour in an effort to break a world record for a cause.
Tahoe Donner partnered with the Sugar Pine Foundation and local volunteers to plant 240 western white pines and 120 red firs in a fire‐damaged area of Tahoe Donner. The Tahoe Donner team successfully planted all trees well within the hour limit. The seedlings are generally resistant to blister rust fungus, which has devastated forests in the western United States and Canada.
CALIPERS TIMBER HOLDINGS SALE
The nation's largest public pension fund is looking to chop its ownership of U.S. timber.
The California Public Employees Retirement System, or Calpers, is seeking buyers for roughly 300,000 acres of forests largely in Louisiana amid a broader review of its timber holdings. The woodland represents about 0ne-fifth of roughly 1.3 million U.S. acres controlled by the Sacramento-based fund.
FORESTRY & WILDLIFE SCHOOL JUNE 18-19
The Forestry and Wildlife School for Landowners will be held on Thursday and Friday, June 18 and 19, 2015 in Munford, AL. Topics will be Wildlife Management Concepts and Terms, Introduction to Timber Management, Planting Trees & Creating Wildlife Openings, Marketing You’re Timber, Seedling Options, Wild Pig Damage and Control and a field tour at the Talladega National Forest.
CFE units will be available to Registered Foresters that attend the workshop. Early registration fee by June 1, 2015 is $35.00, late registration fee is $40.00, spouse registration fee is $20.00. For additional information contact Katherine with the Walker County Soil and Water Conservation District at (205) 384-0606 ext. 1.
NEW PRESCRIBED FIRE CERTIFIED BURN MANAGER SCHEDULE SET
For those who are interested in becoming Certified Burn Managers for the first time, or who are interested in having their certification updated, a new schedule of seminars has been set.
NATIONAL WATER CENTER OPENS ON UA CAMPUS
The National Water Center, a new facility located at the University of Alabama, is poised to become an incubator for innovative breakthroughs in water prediction products and services. As the country becomes more vulnerable to water-related events, from drought to flooding, the innovative predictive science and services developed by NOAA and its partners at the National Water Center will bolster
the nation’s ability to manage threats to its finite water resources and mitigate impacts to communities.
MAY HAS SEVERAL GREAT LAL EVENTS
The May 16 Wiregrass Trail Ride near Abbeville, the May 19 Capital District Golf Tournament in Montgomery and the May 21 Delta District Golf Tournament in Chatom were all were smashing successes for the Log a Load for Kids program.
Remaining events include:
>> June 4. Piedmont District Annual Golf event will be held at Greystone in Birmingham.
>> June 22. Wiregrass District Annual Golf Tournament. Click here for flyer.
>> September 19. Piedmont District Annual Bow Shoot Event at Waverly, Alabama: Tom Gallagher 334-844-1095, email@example.com.
>> November 6, 2015. Annual Charlie Hughen Memorial Sporting Clay & Skeet event at Westervelt Lodge, Aliceville: Contact:firstname.lastname@example.org orGFRANKLIN@westervelt.com.
PHOTOS: In top photo, a beautiful load of logs greeted participants at the Delta District golf event put on by Chuck Reynolds and family in Chatom on may 21. Above, State Log a Load Chair Janet Ison presents a nice .22 caliber rifle to Larry Jones who won it at the Capital District golf tourney in Montgomery on May 19.